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David J. Raphael

David Raphael is a partner in the environmental, land and natural resources practice of the firm’s Harrisburg office. Prior to joining K&L Gates, David served as Chief Counsel of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) where he provided legal counsel to the Secretary and executive staff of the DEP. In this role, he oversaw a statewide team who represented the department on a variety of environmental compliance, litigation and transactional matters. His experience as an environmental practitioner – both in the public and private sectors – spans more than 25 years.

David represents clients in environmental litigation matters before the Environmental Hearing Board, various state and federal courts, and administrative boards. He also provides environmental counsel on complex transactions and a wide range of environmental compliance issues, including the implementation of environmental compliance and audit policies.

David was selected by Chambers USA (2017-2023) as one of Pennsylvania's leading environmental lawyers. He was also recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Environmental Law and Litigation-Environmental (2019-2023).

Prior to entering private practice, David served as Deputy Attorney General with the Environmental Crimes Section of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. As a Deputy Attorney General, David served as the lead trial attorney for complex environmental cases in state trial courts around the Commonwealth, and represented the OAG in appellate matters before state appellate courts. His duties also included review and approval of charging documents, search warrants, and investigative plans. David also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where he was involved in the prosecution of a significant laboratory fraud matter. His career began with the Office of Chief Counsel in the Department of Environmental Protection, serving as Assistant Counsel and Special Assistant Counsel, and representing the Commonwealth in environmental matters before the Environmental Hearing Board, Commonwealth Court, and Superior Court, and negotiating a number of the first redevelopment agreements under Act 2.

David served on the Environmental Hearing Board Rules Committee during his tenure as Chief Counsel of DEP.

David received his undergraduate degree in English, with honors, from Lynchburg College, and received his law degree from the Dickinson School of Law, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Dickinson Journal of Environmental Law & Policy. He also served as member of the Dickinson's mock trial team, which won a regional championship in New York City and competed in the national finals. David has served as a visiting judge to Dickinson’s Trial Advocacy and Appellate Advocacy programs and is currently serving as a litigation skills instructor at the law school.

  • Recognized in the Best Lawyers in America® for Environmental Law and Litigation-Environmental (2019-2023)
  • The Order of Barristers
  • Recognized by Chambers USA (2017-2023)
  • Master of the Bench in the James S. Bowman American Inn of Court (2023)

He is a supporter of philanthropic activities in Central Pennsylvania, including fundraising events for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Capital Region, Carlisle Arts Learning Center, and Carlisle Area Little League. He has served as President and Vice President of the Carlisle Area Girls Soccer Association and Vice President and Treasurer of the Carlisle Boys Soccer Booster Club.

  • Young Energy Professionals Workshop: The Midstream Sessions, The Center for American and International Law, "Navigating Midstream Regulation at the Federal and State Level," 11 January 2023
  • PACA Annual Meeting, Environmental Justice in Pennsylvania, 14 November 2022, Hershey, Pennsylvania 
  • NSSGA Annual Conference, Environmental Justice Presentation, 14 March 2002, Nashville, Tennessee 
  • PBI Oil and Gas Colloquium, Pipeline and Infrastructure Case Law Survey, June 28, 2018, Cranberry Township, PA.
  • NSSGA Annual Conference, Legal Symposium, Preparedness for Natural Disasters, March 7, 2018, Houston, Texas.
  • Environmental Law Forum, Environmental Issues Facing The Oil & Gas Industry, April 6, 2017, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Environmental Compliance Issues Conference, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, October 20, 2015, Harrisburg, PA.
  • Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce: DEP Quarterly Meeting, “Adapting to a New Era of Strict Criminal Liability”, January 29, 2014, Harrisburg, PA.
Additional Thought Leadership Pages

David has served as a contributing author to the award-winning Environmental Law Handbook, published by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, and has published articles on environmental matters in various legal publications.

Additional News & Event Pages
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